Game Day #42: Rockets at Thunder

Houston Rockets (22-20, 7-14 Road) at OKC Thunder (32-9, 18-2 home)




Where: The ‘Peake
When: 7:00 p.m. CST
TV: FSOK (DirectTV 679, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 754)
Online StreamHere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Projected Lineups:

Thunder Rockets
PG Russell Westbrook Gorad Dragic
SG Daequan Cook Kevin Martin
SF Kevin Durant Chandler Parsons
PF Serge Ibaka Luis Scola
C Kendrick Perkins Samuel Dalembert
6th Man James Harden Chase Budinger

Last Time: Houston stunned Oklahoma City 96-95.

Well, last time these two met, Oklahoma City fought back from a horrible first half to lose by a single digit in the middle of a couple of impressive runs. Houston is a team that’s sitting in the eighth place in playoff positioning in the Western Conference. They’re 22-20. However, they’ve won just one game in their last seven games.

Oklahoma City comes into the game off their 122-95 blistering victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. No one played more than 31 minutes, while they tallied a season high of 27 assists. It was just the rebounding effort after a dismal performance the previous game against Cleveland.

This is the fourth and final meeting between these two teams. Oklahoma City leads the series so far 2-1. Last time the teams met in Oklahoma City, the Thunder ran the pants off the Rockets 109-94.

Looks like Thabo Sefolosha was taking shots and practicing yesterday. He might play. I doubt it. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he sat out the game and returned versus San Antonio.

For Houston, Kyle Lowry is out due to an illness. Kevin Martin is a game time decision. I do expect him to play though. I don’t expect any other roster changes for the Rockets, unless we have a trade before game time.

Keys to the game

Russell Westbrook
Westbrook doesn’t have to take on Kyle Lowry, just Goran Dragic. Westbrook should really take this game over. He’s been playing well lately, but I’d really like to see All-Star Westbrook destroy the Houston ego early. Kill any chance of a ball game.

Three Point Shooting
OKC shoots the three ball well at home. However, the Rockets are ranked 12th in three-point shooting in the league. However, Houston AND OKC both rank in the top 6 in perimeter defense. Which one will have to give?

Kevin Martin
In the two losses to OKC, Martin is 8-20 (40%) for 14.5 points per game. Including 2-6 from three-point Range (33%). Martin lead the league in free throw attempts, He was 11-11 in the two losses. In the one win, he was 10-18 (55.6%), and 4-7 from three (57%). Martin was also 8-8 from the free throw line. So, as Martin goes, the Rockets go. Also, Martin is day-to-day. He might not even play…

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